At The Movies

The Dark Knight Rises


A genuine five saw blade film

Andy McKinney

If you haven’t been to the flickers yet this year, this is the one to see. This is the first genuine five saw blade film of 2012.

That match made in movie heaven between actor Christian Bale and director Christopher Nolan that we know well from the two previous Batman films in this series continues and improves in the final episode.

I might be sad because the collaboration between Bale and Nolan is over except that this film is a wonderful, apt and fitting culmination. If you are waiting for a better film to view this year, don’t wait. Better than this there isn’t.

Christopher Nolan co-wrote the screenplay with his equally talented brother Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan also wrote the intricate “Memento,” “The Prestige” and the Christopher Nolan-directed “The Dark Knight.” Brilliant writing gives the acclaimed actors in the film something interesting to say and do. To sew up the triple play, Christopher Nolan also produced the movie.

Nolan is no one hit wonder. In between the last two Batman films he directed the innovative “Inception.” But the Batman trilogy has contributed the most to his $90 million fortune.

There is a bad guy, Bane, played as a masked brute by Tom Hardy. He and his comrades set up a people’s republic in Gotham City. The Batman must defeat the baddies before the city disappears in a mushroom shaped cloud, which gives some urgency to the project.

Other cast members include Michael Caine as Alfred the loyal Batman butler, Morgan Freeman as the boffin behind the fabulous Bat-toys and Gary Oldman as Commissioner Gordon, all returning players.

New player Anne Hathaway (“The Devil Wears Prada”) gets to don black latex and become immortal as Catwoman. The slight actress manages a convincing athleticism that surprised me. Like The Batman, Catwoman is a tortured soul, which Hathaway also brings to light for us.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues to grow as an adult actor. Here he is an earnest and heroic young policeman.

The star is of course Christian Bale. The story for me is all about how Bruce Wayne must suffer, spiritually and physically, in order to become The Batman for the people of his city. Batman is never referred to as simply Batman, but always as The Batman. This puts him on another plane entirely from ordinary humans and makes the struggle of the too human Bruce Wayne to fill the Bat-suit all the more poignant. No one suffers quite as well as does Bruce Wayne as played by Christian Bale.

Director Nolan keeps the special effects in check. They remain special, particularly the Bat-toys, but do not abscond with the movie, as happens in lesser movies by lesser directors.

Still, with worldwide locations and plenty of effects, the makers spent a not-in-this-case unreasonable $250 million to make the PG-13 “Dark Knight Rises.”

Estimates of the weekend gross domestically run to $160 million. Fans will be pleased to sit for two hours and 40 minutes.

Please take the time to pray for the solace of the survivors of the Colorado movie shooting tragedy, all who love the victims, and peace for the souls of the slain.

A worthwhile, enjoyable movie

Katie Schouten

One of the best-known superheroes ever is Batman, the masked hero of Gotham City. What is well known to moviegoers, but not to the inhabitants of the before-mentioned city is that Batman is Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), the orphan billionaire.

When the storyline for “The Dark Knight Rises” picks up, both Bruce Wayne and Batman are somewhat more of an idea to the people of the city than in previous movies. Neither has been seen in Gotham for eight years, dating back to the mysterious death of former attorney Harvey Dent. But that is all about to change. Since the previous Batman movie “The Dark Knight” (2008), the people of Gotham City have imposed a new law known as the “Dent Act” which rid the city of all organized crime. Or did it?

This new edition of the Batman movies introduces several new characters: Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), the jewelry thief known as Catwoman has joined the cast; As the new villain, the movie introduces Bane (Tom Hardy), a mercenary who seeks to destroy Gotham City; and then there is a new Gotham City cop John Blake, who finds out the mystery behind the Batman’s secret identity and seeks his help against forces opposing Gotham City; and not to be forgotten, Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) who seeks to help the world find a new green power source.

Retuning are Alfred (Michael Caine), Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman) and Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman). Many of the characters, old and new, held surprises for the audience. All the returning actors continued to amaze as their characters overcame new obstacles, and the new actors were convincing, as their equally complex characters unfolded.

“The Dark Knight Rises” was fairly violent, but not in the same way as the previous “Dark Knight.” The violence in this movie involved more hand combat contrasting with the more psychological violence of “The Dark Knight.” This made it not as disturbing, and a good way to describe the difference would be to say that there are no disappearing pencils in “The Dark Knight Rises.”

The storyline was very intriguing, bringing in characters and ideas from the DC comics written about Batman. Although it was a fairly long movie (2 hours, 45 minutes), it was well worth it. However, the violence and some of the plot details make it unsuitable for children, hence the PG-13 rating. I enjoyed it very much, and can’t wait to see the next Batman movie that will very likely follow “The Dark Knight Rises.”


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